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AP: Dissenting Cong MLAs refuse to budge

By Vicky Nanjappa
December 11, 2009 01:27 IST
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In the aftermath of the announcement to form a separate state of Telangana, the Congress party is now facing a new lot of problems.

Party president Sonia Gandhi and Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, spent a large part of the day convincing the nearly 40 Congress members of the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly who tendered their resignations on Thursday.

The MLAs, who are protesting against the decision to form Telangana, were called to New Delhi on Thursday. However, the meeting with Gandhi has reportedly not yielded any positive results.

The MLAs have demanded that the Telangana should not be formed unless there was a consensus in the Andhra Pradesh assembly.

Gandhi has reportedly asked the MLAs to reconsider their decision and not to embarrass the party. She has also reportedly told the MLAs that the issue would be resolved amicably and that no MLA should protest till then.

The dissenting MLAs, headed by MLA Pallam Raju, also met Moily, and expressed their concerns over the formation of a separate state.

They have allegedly told the minister that the government had given into "blackmail" to by agreeing to start the process for formation of Telangana.

They have also told the law minister that the decision could prove "disastrous" for the future of Andhra Pradesh, sources said.

Moily has reportedly assured the MLAs that the senior Congress leaders would discuss the issue over the next couple of days and then decide on the future course of action.
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Vicky Nanjappa in New Delhi